Friday, March 30, 2007


Note: Several readers have asked me to recommend brands of high quality canned tomatoes. But without knowing where you are and where you shop this is kind of hard to do. Suffice it to say that most brands of San Marzano tomatoes are better for sauce than any other type of canned tomato. Although doubtless some are better than others.
Yesterday I used Cento brand tomatoes and they were great (about 2 bucks for a 35 oz can). They aren't from San Marzano but they're pretty damned good.
I've never been impressed with canned tomatoes from Ca, Israel, or South America. But I suppose that one day I'll be surprised.

...This may be the surprise that I anticipated. Michael Ruhlman recommends Muir Glen tomatoes.
I'm guessing that they are Ca.


Tyrone B. said...

thanks (and thanks for the comment on my blog)!

I think I can get these, currently I am in East Texas so I think I can get them at my Brookshires (or they'll go out of their way to order them for me, good service) if not I have a Whole Food and Central Market in is good!

Thanks again!

ruhlman said...

i use glen muir, excellent organic and available

veron said...

Thanks for the tip. I will check out our supermarket for the San Marzano brands.

IdahoRocks said...

I've used Muir Glen, because they're organic. They're fine for the job. Of course, following Mario Batali's advise, I always buy the whole tomatoes.... San Marzanos are also easy to grow. I grow them every year, along with lots of colored tomatoes! In the fall, when I have to pick everything before the first freeze, including the unripe tomatoes, I let the unripe ones ripen in my sunroom, and I roast the ripe ones with a bit of olive oil, salt, garlic and maybe onions in a low oven until they're carmelized and their juices are beginning to dissipate. When they're cool, I grind them in the food processor, stuff them into canning jars with a bit of lemon juice (to make sure they're acidic enough to can), put them in a boiling water bath, and voila! I have something resembling a passata or a kind of cross between sauce and paste. And I can use it for everything, including just spreading it on crostini. Yum, yum.

Scott said...

I have to say, I use Redpack. They may not be "epicurean" or trendy but they are invariably consistent.

Ed Bruske said...

Great posts over at Ruhlman's, Bob. Glad you've got your own site so we can tune in on a more regular basis.

Dan Wodarcyk said...

Despite my findings about a sauce made with fresh ripes, I tried canned San Marzano's this weekend (combined only with garlic, oil and basil) and it was fine...but just fine. They were Italbrand San Marzano's, found them at a local specailty grocer, $3.89 for a 1 pd can, a bit pricey compared to other recommendations I've seen.